Water Use Analysis

Water Use Analysis
This Assignment addresses the following CCO Objectives:
2. Present environmental information using effective written communication
3. Describe, numerically and graphically, various presentations of data
4. Apply mathematically and graphically, various presentations of data
6. Describe conditions that promote various ecosystems and appraise the impacts of human endeavors on them
7. Find, evaluate, use and cite variety of informational resources relevant to environmental science
9. Describe the impact of human activities on natural systems
10. Evaluate a wide range of cultural and social approaches to environmental problems
13. Assess the effect and importance of individual behavior in environmental issues
18. Develop informed views based on critical evaluation of information sources
19. Engage in problem solving of environmental issues
Due Date: Please see the Assignment and Syllabus for Due Dates
Credit: This activity is worth 30 points, see Rubric for details.

Part 1:

Read this article about personal water use in the industrialized world:
Sarah Scoles: I spent a week exploring how we’ll have to live in post-water America

Part 2: Personal Water Use Table

  • Record your personal water use for five (5) consecutive days in a data table.
    • For each day, record the date and the amount of water you have used for ALL of your daily tasks such as bathing, cooking, hand washing, drinking, cleaning, toilet flushing, etc.
      • Since we all use water daily, you will need to have a reasonable entry for each of the 5 days. You should document ALL the ways you have used water no matter how trivial you think the usage and estimate amounts of water you use over these 5 days.
      • Even if you don’t do your own laundry or dishes, you should still record it because that is water being used for your direct benefit.
      • Each usage should include how long you used the water (such as for a shower) or how many times you used the item (such as for the toilet) and then multiple that number by how much water the item uses per minute (such as for the shower) or by how many times you used the item (such as for the toilet)
      • Don’t worry – I am NOT going to judge you based on your usage!
    • Provide all data in liters (L). Some of the data you find will be in gallons so you will have to convert from gallons (gal) to liters. (1 gallon = ~ 3.8 liters)
    • Either provide a reference for how you estimated your water use or make a note about how you directly measured the amount of water used.
      • There should be in in-text citation in the data table and a full reference below the data table.

Example Table:

**Note that this is a SAMPLE, your table have more uses and more days.
Always show all your work!

Use 2/28/17 3/1/2017 3/2/2017 Total By Use:
Brush Teeth
(SFWMD, 2008)
1min x 1.5 gal/min = 1.5gal x 3.8L = 5.7L 1min x 1.5 gal/min = 1.5gal x 3.8L = 5.7L 1min x 1.5 gal/min = 1.5gal x 3.8L = 5.7L 17.1L
(Alliance for Water Efficiency, 2016d)
10min x 2gal/min = 20gal x 3.8L = 75L 7.5min x 2gal/min = 15 gal x 3.8L = 56L 10min x 2gal/min = 20gal x 3.8L = 75L 206L
Hand washing
(Alliance for Water Efficiency, 2016c)
3 times X 2minutes/time X 2.2gal/minute X 3.8 L = 50L 6 times X 2minutes/time X 2.2gal/minute X 3.8 L = 100L 5 times X 2minutes/time X 2.2gal/minute X 3.8 L = 84L 234L
Toilet Flush (label amt) 4times x 3gal x 3.8L = 44L 5times x 3gal x 3.8L = 57L 4times x 3gal x 3.8L = 44L 145L
(SFWMD, 2008)
1gal x 3.8L = 3.8L 0.5gal x 3.8L = 1.75L 0 5.55L
Dish Washer
(Alliance for Water Efficiency, 2016b)
20L (per run) 0L 20L (per run) 40L
Clothes Washer
(Alliance for Water Efficiency, 2016a)
0L 0L 1Load x 95L per load = 95L 95L
Total by Day 191.6L 217.3L 320.6L

(Note: 1 gallon ~ 3.8 liters)

Be certain to properly cite your sources in APA format with an in-text citation in the table (see examples it the table above) and a full references list at the end of your submission.

Sample References List:

Alliance for Water Efficiency. (2016a). Home Water Works: Clothes Washer. Retrieved from
Alliance for Water Efficiency. (2016b). Home Water Works: Dishwasher. Retrieved from
Alliance for Water Efficiency. (2016c). Home Water Works: Faucet. Retrieved
from https://www.home-waterworks.org/indoor-use/faucet
Alliance for Water Efficiency. (2016d). Home Water Works: Showers. Retrieved from
Southwest Florida Water Management District, (SFWMD). (2008). Water Use
Calculator. Retrieved from https://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/conservation/ thepowerof10/

Part 3: Water Scarcity

  1. The United Nations has stated that “sufficient water for personal and domestic uses [is] between 50 and 100 liters of water per person per day.” (UN, 2017)
  2. Create a second table showing what your water usage would have to look like in order to use no more than 100L a day for 5 days!
    • This is not based on any real data – it is hypothetical
    • This table should look like the table above, except this time, the total for each day may not exceed 100L.

Part 4: Water Use Analysis

Once you have complete Tables, it is time to analyze that usage. Answer each of the following questions with several sentences in a short essay based on your recorded water use. Use in-text citations and include a properly formatted reference list in APA format.

  1. a. What were your top three usages in terms of volume?

b. Make a hypothesis as to why are these uses so large?

  1. a. Which uses of water were absolutely necessary at the level you used them? Defend your answer. (i.e. What uses could you not reduce at all and maintain your health?)

b. Which other uses of water could be reduced? How? (Be specific; support your statements with evidence from your research – cite your sources). Be more creative.

  1. The United Nations has stated that “sufficient water for personal and domestic uses [is] between 50 and 100 liters of water per person per day.” (UN, 2017)
    1. How much water did you use on average over the five days? How does this compare to the UN minimum of 50 to 100L?
    2. How would your life have to change in order to only use 100L (or 50 2L bottles of water)?
      1. Reflect on your second table and describe specific ways your life would have to change.
      2. How did you decide what to cut out in order to use less than 100L a day?
      3. Would this be difficult? Why or why not? Explain.
      4. Would you feel the same way as you do currently about your quality of life?
  2. The UN statement of sufficient water is only for ‘personal and domestic uses’, not for the water that is also used in our clothing, transportation, food, etc. This Assignment does not ask you to evaluate your non-personal and domestic use. However, the author of the Popular Science article did.
    1. Describe one aspect of your non-domestic water use – this is water used on your behalf to provide you with resources. (i.e. for growing food, transportation, for making clothing, for generating electricity electricity).
      Make sure to cite a source.
    2. Estimate the amount of water needed for that. Explain how you reached this estimate. (make sure to cite a source)
    3. How would conserving this water impact your life? Explain.


Submit your Water Use Analysis Assignment as a single document and upload it the assignment submission link on Blackboard. Your document should include both your tables, your essay, and references. You must use academic English in your response, and you must provide citations in APA for all information outside of your personal experiences (include in-text citations AND a full reference list)
Scoles, S. (2016). Parched: A week exploring how we’ll have to live in a post-water America. Popular Science, 2 (6), 59. Retrieved from http://www.popsci.com/week-of-perfect waterconsumption
United Nations, (UN). (n.d.) Global Issues: Water. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/en/sections/issues depth/water/index.html
United States Geological Survey, (USGS). (n.d.). Water questionnaire: How much is your daily indoor water use? Retrieved from https://ga2.er.usgs.gov/edu/sq3action.cfm